MetLife Inc. announced Thursday a deal to buy managed vision care company Versant Health for $1.68 billion in cash from an investor group led by Centerbridge Partners and including FFL Partners. Versant owns the marketplace brands Davis Vision and Superior Vision. “We are confident this acquisition will make our market-leading group benefits business even more attractive,” said Ramy Tadros, president of U.S. business for MetLife. “The addition of the strong Davis Vision and Superior Vision brands will immediately establish MetLife as a leader in managed vision care.” MetLife’s stock, which slipped 0.5% in premarket trading, has dropped 26.2% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR S&P Insurance ETF has lost 18.2% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.8%.
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